Baptism by Coffee – How a little spill can change our perspective

Coffee book

This morning I was enjoying a new book.  Not just any book.  It’s about adaptive leadership…one of my favorite topics.  It even has a personal note and signature to me from the author…a person I know and respect.  In a very real sense…this is a book above books for me.  Lots of positive meaning was connected with it that made its worth more than the topic of its pages.

So…I had picked up my reading this morning from where I left off yesterday…about the half way point of the book.  With reading glasses on and hot coffee sitting next to me I was already reengaged in the thoughts of how the principles applied to my life and situations around me.  It was good stuff.

And then it happened.  Reaching to pick up my coffee cup while reading I clumsily failed to lift the cup clear of the book and spilled coffee all over my bright new, shiny, signed book.

True confessions, my initial thoughts (and words) were not appropriate for printing here.  I quickly reached for a towel to mop up the mess and try to clean off the pages.  Disgusted in myself for being so clumsy I thought – how could I be so clumsy.

And then it hit me.

This is perfect.

No – really.  It’s perfect.

This written report – this prized possession – this thing that I viewed as so prized, so special, so valued – this thing that was so pristine and shiny had finally been knocked from its place of trophy status to a much more meaningful spot.  The place of field manual.  In a very real sense – this desecration by coffee was one of the best things that could happen to this polished report.

As I moved from aggravation to laughter (and I did) I found myself much less encumbered by a need to somehow hold this book with a sense of holiness.  It was now ready to take its place in the work it was intended – as a source of curiosity amidst the challenges of real life (and clumsy coffee spills).

I now find myself wondering what other shiny objects of my life could be helped by a little strategic baptism by coffee.

I invite you to join me in considering what might be helped by your own strategic coffee spill.  What might a slip of the coffee bearing wrist do to aid you in viewing your own catalog of shiny theories and plans with new eyes.  Maybe together, we can find ourselves less worried about the report itself and a bit more interested in wresting and experimenting with its application.

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